B-90578, MAY 15, 1950, 29 COMP. GEN. 460

B-90578: May 15, 1950

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NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGES - SURPLUS PRODUCTS - INTERAGENCY TRANSFERS - NECESSITY FOR REIMBURSEMENT SINCE THERE IS NO AUTHORITY OF LAW FOR THE TRANSFER BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR OF SURPLUS PRODUCTS FROM NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGES TO OTHER AGENCIES WITHOUT REIMBURSEMENT. TO DENY A COUNTY IN WHICH A REFUGE IS LOCATED A PORTION OF THE REVENUE RECEIVED FROM THE SALE OF SUCH PRODUCTS WOULD BE CONTRARY BOTH TO THE PROVISIONS IN THE ACT OF JUNE 15. FOR DECISION AS TO WHETHER PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED ON A VOUCHER STATED IN FAVOR OF THE FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE. IT IS EXPLAINED THAT SUCH AMOUNT REPRESENTS PAYMENT OF 10 CENTS PER TON FOR AGGREGATE (GRAVEL) REMOVED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY FROM THE UPPER SOURIS NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE UNDER SPECIAL USE PERMIT NO. 49-590 GRANTED BY THE FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE UNDER DATE OF MARCH 30.

B-90578, MAY 15, 1950, 29 COMP. GEN. 460

NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGES - SURPLUS PRODUCTS - INTERAGENCY TRANSFERS - NECESSITY FOR REIMBURSEMENT SINCE THERE IS NO AUTHORITY OF LAW FOR THE TRANSFER BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR OF SURPLUS PRODUCTS FROM NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGES TO OTHER AGENCIES WITHOUT REIMBURSEMENT, AND TO DENY A COUNTY IN WHICH A REFUGE IS LOCATED A PORTION OF THE REVENUE RECEIVED FROM THE SALE OF SUCH PRODUCTS WOULD BE CONTRARY BOTH TO THE PROVISIONS IN THE ACT OF JUNE 15, 1935, AS AMENDED, FOR THE PAYMENT TO THE COUNTY OF 25 PERCENTUM OF ALL MONEYS RECEIVED FROM SUCH SALES, AND TO THE INTENT OF CONGRESS IN ENACTING THE SAME, PAYMENT MUST BE MADE BY AN AGENCY REMOVING GRAVEL FROM A WILDLIFE REFUGE UNDER A SPECIAL PERMIT, EVEN THOUGH THE RESULTING EFFECT WOULD BE A MONETARY LOSS TO THE GOVERNMENT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO LT. COL. F. B. HALL, JR., U.S. ARMY, MAY 15, 1950:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED BY INDORSEMENT OF APRIL 24, 1950, YOUR REQUEST OF DECEMBER 12, 1949, FOR DECISION AS TO WHETHER PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED ON A VOUCHER STATED IN FAVOR OF THE FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, IN THE AMOUNT OF $2,066.58.

IT IS EXPLAINED THAT SUCH AMOUNT REPRESENTS PAYMENT OF 10 CENTS PER TON FOR AGGREGATE (GRAVEL) REMOVED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY FROM THE UPPER SOURIS NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE UNDER SPECIAL USE PERMIT NO. 49-590 GRANTED BY THE FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE UNDER DATE OF MARCH 30, 1949.

THE SAID LETTER STATES THAT ALTHOUGH THE TERMS OF THE PERMIT WERE ACCEPTED BY YOUR OFFICE, QUESTION NOW ARISES AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF THE PAYMENT INASMUCH AS THE COUNTY IN WHICH THE REFUGE IS LOCATED WOULD BE ENTITLED TO 25 PERCENT OF SUCH AMOUNT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS OF SECTION 401 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 15, 1935, 49 STAT. 383, AS AMENDED, 16 U.S.C. 715S, THEREBY RESULTING IN A LOSS TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE AMOUNT PAYABLE TO THE COUNTY.

GENERALLY, IN THE ABSENCE OF A SPECIFIC PROVISION OF LAW THEREFOR, NO PROPERTY MAY BE TRANSFERRED FROM ONE GOVERNMENT AGENCY TO ANOTHER WITHOUT REIMBURSEMENT. SEE SECTION 202 (E) OF THE FEDERAL PROPERTY AND ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 385. APPARENTLY, THE CONGRESS, IN PROVIDING THAT THE COUNTY IN WHICH A REFUGE IS LOCATED SHOULD BE ENTITLED TO 25 PERCENTUM OF ALL MONEYS RECEIVED FROM THE SALE OF SURPLUS PRODUCTS FROM SUCH REFUGE, CONSIDERED THAT SUCH PORTION OF THE REVENUES REPRESENTED AN EQUITABLE PAYMENT TO THE COUNTY FOR THE LOSS OF USE OF THE LAND.

ACCORDINGLY, SINCE THERE APPEARS TO BE NO AUTHORITY OF LAW FOR THE TRANSFER OF THE PROPERTY INVOLVED WITHOUT REIMBURSEMENT, AND SINCE TO DENY A COUNTY A PORTION OF THE REVENUES WOULD BE CONTRARY TO THE PROVISIONS OF SAID SECTION 401 AND THE INTENT OF CONGRESS IN ENACTING THE SAME, THE VOUCHER, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.